This post was written by Ralph Starks, a blogger and traveler who enjoys exploring the world in the best ways possible.

empty highway

It will probably not be the first place that springs to mind when you are planning a vacation. But there is always something going on in Oklahoma. It is a state that legitimately considers itself to be the center of the country – and at the confluence of three major regions.

So while others may look to the coastal cities of New York or Los Angeles for their trips, we’ve decided to highlight just a few of the things that the Sooner State has going for it. Read on to discover why you should be thinking about making a journey to Oklahoma this year.

Get Your Kicks

There are not many other more iconic man-made landmarks than the world-famous Route 66. The highway winds its way, connecting east to west, for 400 miles – cutting right through the middle of Oklahoma. If you think that sounds like a perfect road trip, then you would be very correct.

You can discover the quirky attractions and diners of small-town America, as well as exploring the urban centers of Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The contrasts along Route 66 are as varied as the country itself and you are guaranteed to enjoy a different trip every time you venture onto the famous highway.

Outstanding Natural Beauty

It is difficult to know where to begin if you are looking to enjoy the wild outdoors in Oklahoma. There are five separate State Parks within the borders, all providing visitors with unparalleled views of natural beauty. You can even get to see bison in the wild as they roam the prairies.

Hiking trails and water-based fun can be found across the state, from the Greenleaf State Park in Eastern Oklahoma, to the intriguingly named Robbers Cove State Park, found in the shade of the Sans Bois Mountains. If outdoor pursuits are on your must-do list, then you should be able to find somewhere suitable here.

Learn Your History

The name ‘Oklahoma’ comes from the Choctaw language – ‘okla’ meaning people, and ‘humma’ meaning red. With all the wild west movies made over the years, the history of the indigenous peoples has sometimes been overlooked. But in Oklahoma there are plenty of places where you can learn about the local area.

The Choctaw Cultural Center in Durant is a museum dedicated to the third largest Native American tribe and provides an interactive experience that looks at life from around 1250 to the present day. There is also the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City, a huge space chronicling the history of all 39 American Indian Nations.

More Bang for Your Buck

Up until now we have concentrated on some of the amazing sights and venues in Oklahoma. But one factor that is always important when it comes to planning a vacation is how much is it all going to cost. The good news is that this will always be less of a consideration when it comes to Oklahoma.

Sure, New York and LA have some of the most famous tourist hot spots in the country. But you will pay a lot of good money to experience them. Your money will go much further in Oklahoma, whether it is visiting some of the cultural centers we have already mentioned – or just filling up with a big breakfast at a diner on Route 66.

Eat Well

Speaking of food. We are not about to get into the argument of which state has the best barbecue food. But let’s just include Oklahoma as one of the best options. You could also go for more upscale restaurants in the heart of Oklahoma City, or quick but delicious food in the venues of Tulsa.

Of course the southern barbecue flavors can be found throughout the state as well, so you are never likely to go hungry. You can also guarantee the best service possible too. In fact, all this talk of food and hospitality has gotten us excited about making the trip to Oklahoma, sooner rather than later!